World Suicide Prevention Day

Suicide is Preventable

Every year over 700,000 people die from suicide, with many more attempts taking place. It is a tragedy that rocks families, communities and has long-lasting effects on those the victim loses behind. It’s a serious problem for everyone, but especially young people and men, who are less likely to seek help when experiencing suicidal thoughts. Although suicide is a serious health problem, it can be prevented with the right intervention. It’s critical we are able to spot the signs, so are friends and family can feel supported when they need it.

How to spot signs of suicide

Pain isn’t always clear to see, but those struggling have some signs to indicate they’re contemplating suicide. These signs can appear in conversations, through their actions or in how they’re acting online. If you see one or more of these symptoms, especially when these symptoms appear out of the blue or are linked with a difficult event, speak up or reach out for help.

There are multiple symptoms of suicide contemplation, and it’s worth checking through the Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) or through online resources if you find yourself, or a close one acting irrationally, or out of the ordinary.


Signs of Suicide

Signs can differ from person to person, but general symptoms can include but not limited to:


·         Reckless Behaviour ·         Putting affairs in order
·         No sense of purpose ·         Giving away possessions
·         Increased Drug/alcohol use ·         Anxiety or agitation
·         Talking about death ·         Sudden mood changes
·         Feeling hopeless ·         Withdrawal
·         Uncontrolled anger
·         Talking about being a burden


It’s important to note that symptoms can be different depending on your age.

Teenagers are more likely to experience loss of interest in their environment and their personal appearance, as well as changes in mood, lack of sleep and substance abuse.

Older adults are often preoccupied with death, feel depressed and look for means to harm themselves. Not following doctor’s orders and to take care of themselves are key signs, as well as saying goodbye to their loved ones.


Starting the conversation with someone else

Asking a loved one whether they’re considering taking their own life is one of the hardest conversations to have, but it’s essential we do it anyway. Before starting the conversation, be prepared and practice what you’ll say. Mention the signs that you’re concerned about and directly ask about suicide.


Mentioning suicide does not put the idea in their head.

Listen to what they have to say and listen to what their reasons to living and dying are, and let them know you care. Develop a safety plan with them, to ensure that they are safe until they can get help. Do not promise that you’ll keep it a secret, as these matters are too important to be kept quiet and ensuring they’re safe and supported is more important.


Starting the conversation with yourself

If you’re feeling suicidal and that you want to die, it’s important to tell someone. Help and support is always available, and you don’t have to struggle in silence. Speak to friends and family and tell them what’s going on. There is no right way to start the conversation, starting it all is what’s important.

To help cope, try not thinking about the future, just focus on getting through the day, or through the hour or even through the next five minutes. Find a safe place and be around people who can support you, or alternatively find something you enjoy, like taking time with a pet.


There is always help available

If you or someone you know is struggling, you can speak in confidence to your Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) for help and advice.  Equally there are supporting charities that can help:


Call 116 123


Call 0800 58 58 58


Call 0800 068 41 41


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